Jared Bednar begins his third season as Colorado's head coach after being hired on Aug. 25, 2016. He is the seventh head coach in Avalanche history and the 15th in the history of the franchise.
Bednar, 46, was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year during his second season behind the bench in 2017-18. He led the Avs to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 43-30-9 record (95 points), a jump of 47 points from the previous year (22-54-2, 48). Colorado's 47-point turnaround equaled the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement in NHL history.
Bednar joined Harry Sinden as the only coaches in NHL history to record at least 20 more wins in his second season as a head coach than in his first (with his first year being a full season). Sinden led the Boston Bruins to 37 victories in 1967-68 after winning 17 games in 1966-67.
Leading what was the NHL's youngest team (25.8 average age at year's end), Bednar helped guide the Avs to their first postseason berth since 2013-14. The 2017-18 Avalanche dressed 11 rookies, tied for second in the league, with that group combining for an NHL-high and Avs-record 419 games.
Under Bednar's direction, the 2017-18 club went 28-11-2 on home ice, matching its franchise record for home wins set by the 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship team. The Avs ranked among the NHL's top 10 in both power play (eighth) and penalty killing (fourth), the latter of which set a league record for fewest PPG allowed on home ice (10). Colorado ranked 10th in scoring with 255 goals (3.11), averaging over three goals-per-game for the first time since 2006-07 (3.26). The Avs posted a 10-game winning streak, tied for the NHL season high, and a 10-game home winning streak, making Colorado the first team in four years to have a 10-game home streak and 10-game overall winning streak in the same campaign.
Bednar has spent 16 seasons coaching professional hockey, eight of which have been as a head coach. He owns a 316-244-55 (.559) combined record as a head coach, which includes four seasons in the AHL and two in the ECHL. Bednar posted a .603 winning percentage as a minor league head coach (251-158-23-19), winning championships at both the AHL and ECHL levels.
Prior to joining the Avalanche organization, Bednar guided the Columbus Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, to the 2016 Calder Cup championship. The Monsters finished second in the Central Division with a 43-22-6-5 record (97 points) and then proceeded to go 15-2 during the postseason, sweeping both the Western Conference Final and Calder Cup Final.
Bednar served as the head coach of the Blue Jackets' previous AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, in 2014-15 and also spent two seasons as the head coach of the AHL's Peoria Rivermen from 2010-12.
Bednar began his coaching career as an assistant with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL in 2002-03. He took over the Stingrays' head coaching job in 2007-08 and in his second season led South Carolina to the 2009 Kelly Cup championship. He posted a .654 winning percentage (89-45-9) in two years as an ECHL head coach.
The Yorkton, Saskatchewan, native was an assistant coach in the AHL with Abbotsford in 2009-10 and later served two seasons as an assistant with Springfield from 2012-14.
Bednar played nine seasons of professional hockey, a career that spanned parts of eight seasons in the ECHL with the Huntington Blizzard and South Carolina Stingrays (1993-2002), parts of three seasons in the AHL with the St. John's Maple Leafs and Rochester Americans (1996-2000), and one season in the IHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 1998-99. The defenseman was part of two Kelly Cup championship teams as a player, 1997 and 2001 with South Carolina. Prior to turning pro, Bednar spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League from 1990-93, competing with the Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders.
Jared and his wife, Susan, have a son, Kruz (18) and a daughter, Savega (13). Bednar, who lived in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, on two different occasions for a decade during his youth and also played for the Humboldt Broncos, has made several visits to the kids and families of the tragic 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus accident, and co-hosted a golf tournament in Humboldt this past August.